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Is Mitt Romney against a two-state solution in Israel?
In another newly released secret video, Romney claims that "the Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace"
 
Mitt Romney delivers a speech in Israel on July 29: A newly released video suggests that Romney may have given up on the idea of a Palestinian state.
Mitt Romney delivers a speech in Israel on July 29: A newly released video suggests that Romney may have given up on the idea of a Palestinian state.
Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

Mother Jones has "released the second installment of its hit reality show where Mitt Romney stops being polite and starts getting real," says Jonathan Chait at New York. Mother Jones' first video shows Mitt Romney at a private fundraiser in May disparaging the 47 percent of Americans — many of whom are poor and elderly — who don't pay federal income taxes, supposedly view themselves as "victims," and have become "dependent on government." The second clip (see the video below), captured at the same fundraiser, features Romney discussing the Arab-Israeli peace process, which he says is "likely to remain an unsolved problem." Romney argues that the impasse is the Palestinians' fault, because they "have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace," and are "committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel." The U.S. has no option but to "kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it." Romney's remarks appear to suggest that he does not support a two-state solution — entailing the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel — which would make him "out of sync with the predominant view in foreign policy circles that has existed for decades," says David Corn at Mother Jones. Has Romney given up on a Palestinian state?

A President Romney would kill the peace process: Romney's remarks are a "depressing, if familiar, window into conservative Republican thought on the Middle East," says Chait. "It's certainly true that lots of Palestinians want to destroy Israel," but hardly all of them do. And there's no evidence that a stifling military occupation of the Palestinian territories "is making them hate Israel any less." Without any plan to improve Palestinian lives or move the peace process forward, a "short-term focus on immediate security becomes, by default, a long-term plan for a one-state solution."
"Mitt: Palestinians are the 47 percent"

What's the big deal? Romney is telling the truth: All Romney does in this video is "describe the situation realistically," says Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. With Hamas, a designated terrorist group, "in the mix" for a possible Palestinian power-sharing agreement with the more peaceful Fatah, it's impossible to expect Israel to take the Palestinians' overtures seriously. Romney has delivered "a more honest assessment of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than we've seen in decades from presidential-level politics, from either party."
"Latest Romney 'embarrassment': Israeli-Palestinian conflict unresolvable under current conditions"

But presidents can't talk like this: Romney, "who has no experience in foreign policy, doesn't seem to know or care about the U.S. role in trying to broker negotiations," says Steve Benen at The Maddow Blog. For decades, America has played mediator in the Arab-Israeli peace process. But Romney has forsaken that job by revealing that "he doesn't actually intend to do any works toward reaching his stated goal" of peace, almost literally saying he'd kick the can down the road. "This isn't leadership, it's the abdication of leadership."
"A 'kick-the-ball-down-the-field' style of leadership"

Read more political coverage at The Week's 2012 Election Center.

 

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